We represent individuals charged with felony or misdemeanor drug offenses, including possession and distribution. Our experienced attorneys have obtained countless acquittals and other favorable outcomes for our clients, including dismissals for illegal searches or seizures, in even the most serious drug cases. We are passionate about ensuring that our clients’ rights are protected and that they have a dedicated, knowledgeable, aggressive advocate in their corner when they are embroiled in Detroit’s criminal justice system.
We will thoroughly investigate the allegations against you, exploring every possible defense, from entrapment to fourth amendment violations, “personal use,” and laboratory error. Well-versed in Michigan criminal law and procedure and well-respected by Detroit judges for our integrity, professionalism, and zealous representation of our clients, we will work hard to obtain the best possible outcome, while keeping you and your family well-informed every step of the way.
Penalties for Michigan Drug Offenses
The severity of a drug charge will depend on the type of drug, the quantity, and whether it is a possession or distribution charge. As for possession, Michigan law provides that a person shall not knowingly or intentionally possess a controlled substance or prescription form , unless it was obtained directly from, or pursuant to a valid prescription or order of a practitioner while acting in the course of the practitioner’s professional practice.
Michigan law classifies drugs into schedules, which determine the charges and penalties involved for possessing different drugs. In general, the more dangerous a drug is, the higher the potential penalties are. For example, possession of a schedule I or II drug is a felony punishable by:
- If the amount is 1,000 grams or more, maximum of life in prison and/or a fine not exceeding $1 million
- If the amount is between 450 grams and 1000 grams, maximum of 30 years and/or a fine not exceeding $500,000
- If the amount is between 50 grams and 450 grams, maximum of 20 years and/or a fine not exceeding $250,000
- If the amount is less than 50 grams, maximum of 4 years and/or a fine not exceeding $250,000
Schedule I drugs include heroin, LSD, ecstasy, and peyote, and are seen as having a high potential for abuse and serve no legitimate medical purpose. Schedule II drugs are substances with a high potential for abuse and addiction but that have an approved medical use. In addition to cocaine and opium, morphine, hydrocodone, oxycodone, and methamphetamines are all schedule II controlled substances.
Michigan’s distribution and trafficking laws cover the crimes where a person provides controlled substances unlawfully. The severity of the charges will depend on the type of drugs and quantity involved, as well as the location where the drugs were distributed, whether children were targeted, and the individual’s criminal history. Importantly, when drug trafficking is charged, the prosecution does not have to demonstrate the element of intent; recovering large quantities of drugs, especially when scales and packaging materials are also seized, is enough to trigger trafficking charges.
Penalties for distribution/trafficking may include:
- Mandatory prison terms or jail time
- Mandatory life sentence if you are convicted of a second or subsequent offense of distributing a schedule I or II drug where the amount is greater than 50 grams.
- Fines, up to $1 million
- Forfeiture of property
Detroit Drug Treatment Court
Some adults and juveniles charged with drug offenses are eligible to have their cases heard in Michigan’s drug treatment courts, which are established as an alternative to incarceration for “individuals who abuse or are dependent upon any controlled substance or alcohol.” Sometimes referred to as problem-solving courts, Michigan’s nearly 200 treatment courts represent an important effort to reduce incarceration by providing treatment.
Interventions include early, continuous, and intense judicially-supervised treatment, mandatory periodic drug testing, community supervision, and use of appropriate sanctions, incentives, and rehabilitation services.
Other Consequences of a Drug Conviction
Michigan law requires driver license suspensions for drug convictions, even if you were not driving at the time of the offense. If you have no prior drug violations, your driver license is suspended for six months. No restricted license is allowed for the first 30 days. One or more prior drug convictions in seven years means your driver license will be suspended for one year. No restricted license is allowed for the first 60 days.
How a Detroit Drug Offenses Attorney Can Help
If you have been charged with a drug offense, contact Cripps & Silver now.